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1By talking to our children about death we may discover what they know and do not know - if they have misconceptions fears or worries 2Long before we realize it children become aware of death They see dead birds insects and animals lying by the road They may see death at least once a day on television Death is a part of life and children at some level are aware of it3Many of us are inclined not to talk about things that upset us We try to put a lid on our feelings and hope that saying nothing will be for the best 4When we avoid talking about something that is obviously upsetting children often hesitate to bring up the subject or ask questions about it 5Studies show that children go through a series of stages in their understanding of death For example preschool children usually see death as reversible temporary and impersonal Watching cartoon characters on television miraculously rise up whole again after having been crushed or blown apart tends to reinforce this notion 6Communicating with preschoolers or young school-age children about any subject can be challenging They need brief and simple explanations 7Religion is a prime source of strength and sustenance to many people when they are dealing with death 8If the death is violent - a murder or assassination - it is probably a good idea to say something to reassure children about their safety 9Studies have shown that when children experience the death of a close relative such as a brother sister or parent they often feel guilty 10If a child is to attend a funeral she should be prepared for what she will hear and see before during and after the services She should be aware that on such a sad occasion people will be expressing their bereavement in various ways and that some will be crying
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